Helping Works

Celebrate 35 years of beautifying homes with Paint the Town

Buster Bronco will mingle with the crowd at Paint the Town’s kickoff event and community celebration May 20 at Sherwin Williams in Meridian.
Buster Bronco will mingle with the crowd at Paint the Town’s kickoff event and community celebration May 20 at Sherwin Williams in Meridian.

Paint brushes won’t officially touch siding until Saturday, June 10, for this year’s Paint the Town, but NeighborWorks Boise is kicking off the event on Saturday, May 20, at Sherwin Williams, 2680 E. Fairview Ave., Meridian.

Even though the event serves as the pick-up place for volunteers and their teams to get the painting supplies, it’s not just for them.

The community is invited to join in the festivities surrounding Paint the Town, which is celebrating 35 years of volunteers donating their time and resources each year to fix up and paint homes for neighbors unable to do it themselves.

The family-friendly day runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features vendors, music by the Idaho Songwriters Association, raffles and a classic car show.

Children will get a kick out of the bounce house and the appearance by Buster Bronco.

Oh … and to top it off, there will be a free lunch and drinks provided by Dutch Bros.

Prep and paint classes will help volunteers get their Mr. Miyagi side-to-side technique down pat at 11:45 a.m., and 12:45 and 1:45 p.m.

And don’t forget about the Buy a Bucket contest, which helps purchase paint and supplies needed to paint the homes of elderly and disabled neighbors.

The contest ends Saturday, June 10, and those who donate are entered in a contest to win two round-trip Alaska Airlines tickets, a grill and an Amazon Echo.

For more information on the program or contest rules, go to

Mattress Firm hosts clothing drive for foster families

All 12 Mattress Firm stores in the Boise area are hosting a clothing drive to benefit local foster youth and families.

Through Sunday, June 18, during normal store hours, Mattress Firm will accept new articles of clothing and monetary contributions to give foster kids properly fitting clothes to call their own.

While all clothing items infant to adult sizes are needed, the most requested items are jeans, graphic tees, hoodies, athletic wear and any item that will make a foster child or teen feel special.

All proceeds will be donated to PATH Idaho, a private non-profit child and family services agency.

For more information and to find a Mattress Firm location near you, go to

United Way collects more books this year during children’s book drive

More than 96,000 books were donated during United Way of Treasure Valley’s third annual children’s book drive in April.

More than 500 volunteers helped clean and sort the donated books at a large warehouse on Fairview Avenue in Boise, donated by The Sundance Company. The books were categorized by grade level and distributed to nearly 100 local organizations that serve children, including schools, daycare centers, libraries, after-school programs and health clinics.

Volunteers represented numerous civic groups, businesses, schools and faith-based groups. Members of the Boise High football team and Meridian Medical Arts Charter School Key Club, among others, also volunteered to clean and sort books.

“People and organizations from every corner of the Valley and beyond came together to help make the children’s book drive a success this year,” said Nora Carpenter, CEO and president of United Way of Treasure Valley. “Right now is the perfect time to get books into the hands of kids so they have reading materials during the summer months, which can help prevent summer learning loss.”

Dozens of local organizations, including Albertsons and U.S. Bank locations, helped collect books with their employees and customers, and donated them to the children’s book drive.

Last year, United Way of Treasure Valley collected 72,000 books during the children’s book drive. This year, more than 96,000 were donated.

Arts and history grant program now accepting applications

The Boise City Department of Arts and History is accepting applications for its annual grant program through June 19. The grant funding is for projects and initiatives that take place between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 1, 2018. Award recipients will be announced in September. The program funds cultural projects and groups that directly benefit Boise residents.

The City of Boise is committed to supporting local cultural organizations and individual projects. “Arts and history are catalysts for bringing people together,” said Terri Schorzman, director of the Boise City Department of Arts and History. “One of the many ways we do this at the City of Boise is through our grant program.”

Boise residents and others with projects that take place within Boise City limits are welcome to apply. Applicants can apply for grant amounts between $1,000 and $5,000. Potential applicants are invited to attend an informational workshop at either a Boise library or Boise City Hall.

Applications must be submitted online. Access grant criteria and links to an application and workshop schedule at

Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451